ONGC Sets Rs 16,200-cr Capital Expenditure

Mumbai, June 26: | Updated: Jun 27 2003, 05:30am hrs
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has chalked out a Rs 16,200 crore expenditure for the current fiscal, of which Rs 4,000 crore would be spent on exploration survey and production each. The capex for last year was Rs 11,000 crore.

The exploration major would spend Rs 1,700 crore on development drilling, Rs 300 crore on research and development (R&D).

The company had earmarked Rs 6,200 crore for its fully-owned subsidiary ONGC Videsh, said ONGC chairman and managing director Subir Raha, at a press conference.

ONGC, which became the first Indian company to breach the Rs 10,000 crore mark for net profit, estimates that the profit next year would be around Rs 10,200 crore. The company would be benefitted if the government revises gas prices, which is in the offing.

The exploration major will make a foray into marketing this year by setting two petrol pumps in the south. We want to make a point that we are there in retailing, reasoned Mr Raha. The company has been granted permission to set up over 1,000 petrol stations. We will commission one or two outlets in the current fiscal. The whole network of 1,100 outlets would take around 5 years to be in place, added Mr Raha.

The company has large real estate which could be used for setting up outlets. All products including those from Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) would be sold under the ONGC brand.

ONGC has also chalked out a Rs 750 crore on upgrading of product quality and debottlenecking at MRPL.

The company plans to spend Rs 500 crore on upgrading MRPLs product quality and Rs 250 crore on debottlenecking.

The refinery would be operated at 100 per cent capacity this year as against 60 per cent last year.

Regarding the prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) procured from Rasgas, Mr Raha added that customers in the north were willing to pay $4 per MMBTU. However, we will match our competitors price. We will reduce the price if anyone sells it below the $4 MMBTU mark, assured Mr Raha.